With his team facing a 97-point deficit in the Constructor’s Championship to Mercedes, Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has vowed that his squad will fight as hard as it can to reel in the “Silver Arrows.”
Mercedes has claimed all four races of the 2014 World Championship, with Lewis Hamilton winning the last three in succession. And while Red Bull and engine supplier Renault have appeared to recover from their poor showing in preseason testing, the fact remains that Merc’s W05 has been, engine and chassis-wise, the car to beat.
Nonetheless, Horner insists that the four-time defending World Champions have the stuff to make it a true title battle.
“We’ve got to if we’re going to make a championship of it,” Horner told British F1 broadcaster Sky Sports. “We’ve got to take the fight to them.
“We’re going to give it everything. I believe we can take the fight to them, we just can’t concede too much more ground.”
Noting that their Renault-powered RB10s had a sizable power deficit to Mercedes – a deficit that loomed large at the most recent Grand Prix in Shanghai, especially on the track’s massive backstraight – Horner says “it’s quite simple” where Red Bull must improve.
“We know where we’ve got to fix our issues and hopefully there are some steps towards that in Barcelona,” he said.
Shortly after the Chinese Grand Prix, Renault acknowledged that its current run of progress needs to be kept up as the series headed to Spain.
“We acknowledge we still have some further steps and need to consolidate the reliability we have developed, but we have…another intensive programme to build on this weekend,” head of track operations Remi Taffin said. “The trend is now there and we fully intend to stay on this curve.”
However, Mercedes certainly isn’t easing up on improvements themselves.
“The Red Bull is very, very fast through the high-speed [corners], which tells me they maybe have a little bit more downforce than us,” Hamilton said in an interview with Sky.
“Last year was a massive gap between how much downforce they had [compared to what Mercedes had]. We’ve definitely closed that up but I think we can do a better job, we can do more.”